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Language Difference

The collective awareness of language difference came about during the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, a time of burgeoning acceptance of cultural diversity. Civil rights and language difference are connected in that the ideal of equal human rights parallels the concept that all language varieties are equally valid. Linguistic validity refers to the fact that all language varieties (e.g., Spanish and African American English [AAE]) have systematic rules. With this knowledge, Speech–Language pathologists (SLPs) began to address the pervasive problem that in attempting to diagnose and treat disorder, language differences were not systematically taken into account, and many people’s valid language differences were incorrectly labeled as disordered.

Despite the linguistic validity of each language variety, not all varieties are afforded equal social respect. ...

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